Windblown Media gave me the privilege of reading The Shack when it first released. They also hosted a live conference call with William Young, the author, allowing him to answer our questions about what we read.
Some bestsellers aren’t worth the paper they are printed on, but this is not one of those books. I will give you a few peeks inside The Shack and explain why I recommend it–even with its flaws. This book is good on many levels. Let me begin the discussion with a few clarifying points:
The Shack is not a theology textbook or a doctrinal statement. It is a story. Like Pilgrim’s Progress, Narnia, and other great works of the Christian faith, the driving power of this book comes through the fact it is told in a story format. You do not have to agree with every allegorical image and metaphor to get a lot out of this book.
The Shack is about grief and the heart of God. If you have been blessed to be spared from severe grief in your life thus far, this book may hold less meaning and power. It’s a gut-wrenching look at senseless evil and suffering in our fallen world. It asks the toughest questions and does not tie everything up in a nice little package at the end.
What it does–and it does it very well–is reveal the heart of God as manifested through the three persons of the Trinity.
And, due to the second point, The Shack is not for children. This book is for mature adults. The story is not overly graphic, but it is disturbing and tragic, while being necessary to the book’s purpose.